Stuck Chapter 16
I see him, staring at me, his face deathly pale. We're in the woods, it's evening. Everything smells dank and sickly as though it has just been raining. Something sounds in the distance and I spin, Vespa stands in my eyes direction now. She's as still as Freddie, staring intently at me. I turn my head. I am surrounded; Freddie, Lillian, Vespa, Noah, Spencer, Flynn, Elle and Jessica, the kindly nurse from the hospital. My hands shake in the breeze that seems to sneak it's way up my hospital gown. There is silence all around. No birds, no wind, nothing at all. The woods are dead.
“Cassie'” A soft voice shouts.
I blink and everything disappears. There are no trees just road. I begin to walk, my feet bare and burning on the hot tarmac. The heat is sweltering but I don't stop walking. There is something in the distance that I need to reach. I don't know what it is but it pulls at my soul. It is silent but my thoughts don't mind because the rage of war of their, debating whether I should carry on. I don't know how I walk for all I know is that I need to keep going. The heat is unbearable and it I want to stop. My eyes go blurry and the scene from the woods reappears again. Blood dribbles from Jessica's mouth. I'm back to the road again but it is different. A car sits burning beside the road. Someone screams beside it.
I again return to the woods. Spencer charges forward grabbing for me. I dash round the circle but Freddie and Noah block my path. Spencer grabs my wrist but I kick away. I try to get out of the gap between Vespa and Flynn but they stop me.
I scream slapping his hands away from me. My attempts are useless he pulls me away from them and to him. With my back to him and facing Vespa his mouth finds my ear.
I blink confused for a second. Vespa grasps her heart and falls to the floor. She spits a scarlet liquid from her mouth. I fall against Spencer as Vespa hacks and coughs clutching her heart. For a second her hand moves away and a dark red stain spreads across her hospital gown. I gain composure and try to run to her. Spencer keeps me close to him. We spin to Jessica.
She falls backward. Blood bursts from her forehead and I watch her twitch on the dirt floor. I let out a scream and try to close my eyes. I am unsuccessful. We turn to Noah.
“No. Stop. Stop it.” I scream.
“Bang.” Noah stumbles but does not fall, blood stains the gown by his stomach. Pain riddles his face and I want to look away. Tears stream down my face.
“Bang.” A gunshot forms on Noah's chest and he falls backwards.
We turn. “Bang.” Flynn is blown from his feet. “Bang.” Lillian falls. “Bang.” Elle clutches her throat and blood seeps through her fingers. Finally we turn to Freddie.
“Stop it.” I beg.
Spencer's mouth so close to my ear I can feel his breath on my skin. “Bang.” He says his voice full of malice. Freddie sinks to his knees and with a confused look his face it's the floor.
“No.” I scream. I don't even sound like a person any more. My screams are that off an animal, a wounded one. Spencer lets me go and I crumble to the floor. Crying I crawl to Freddie and hold his head in my knees.
“Freddie.” I whisper, kissing his head.
“Hi.” He smiles, his eyes going glassy.
“Hi.” I murmur trying to keep composed for him. A tear rolls down my cheek and hits his eyelid. They flutter open and he looks into my eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” I breathed. His eyes go glassy and I know he's gone. I look around my friends, my family they are all gone. Bloody corpses on the forest floor. A metal object finds my head, Spencer crouches beside me, “Bang.” He murmurs. Everything goes black.
"Cassie. Ssh... Cassie." Freddie's hands grasped my shoulders. I opened my eyes and immediately burst into tears grabbing him and pulling him to me so tight I was sure I was strangling him. His arms went up around me.
"Hey..." He laughed. "What's the matter."
"I thought.." I couldn't finish the sentence. For some reason I thought that if I said it it might of come true. I instinctively held him closer to me.
"When I'm away from you I feel like I'm drowning." I murmured.
He kissed my head and ran a hand down my hair. He didn't reply, for once there was no witty comeback. It unnerved me. I breathed deeply and tried to compose myself.
"Party day." I said happily.
I dressed quickly and met Freddie in the kitchen.
"It's a pretty day..." I murmured dazedly.
Freddie put his finger to his lips and pointed to Noah and Vespa who were asleep soundlessly on the sofa, entwined in each others arms. The two, after we finished decorating the cake last night went out for their first proper date. They both looked adorable together. I caught a glimpse at Vespa's tattoo. It looked less red than it had the day before.
"What have we got to do today?" I asked keeping my voice low as I switched the kettle on.
"Nan says if we keep an eye on the record shop we can have the afternoon off, we have to pop into the next town over if we want to get her gift."
I nodded, pouring myself a large bowl of cereal. "I don't know what to get her though. I haven't exactly known her long."
Freddie shrugged as Noah stirred in his sleep. He sat up for a moment looking dazed. His hair sticking up where he'd slept and his eyes squinting in the light. Freddie and I both laughed as he looked around, confused before ducking down to his resting position again.
Whilst Noah and Vespa slept in, Freddie and I got started on the cake. We turned up the radio and danced around the kitchen, mixing up butter cream. On the cafe cupcakes Noah showed me how to pipe icing that looks like roses and after a few attempts I was practically a pro. As I practiced Noah piped circles of icing on the layers of cake and glued them on top of each other. With a lot of concentration and my tongue poking out I managed to ice the whole cake. When I finished I looked up at Freddie proudly, he smiled and somebody behind me clapped. I turned to see Noah and Vespa behind me. Rolling my eyes I took a jokey curtsy. Vespa smiled tiredly and stole the icing bowl off of me. With a yawn she walked over to the side and hopped onto the counter before licking the spoon clean. She smiled happily. Freddie ducked behind the island and pulled out the bag from the cake decorating shop the boys had visited the day before. Working carefully he pulled out a white box and opened it to us. I stared at the beautiful flowers that had been placed in the box. My finger touched one gently.
“There edible, go on have it.”
I pulled off a petal and put it into my mouth. It disappeared almost immediately leaving the taste of raspberry, lemonade and sugar in my mouth. “hmm.”
“Good aren't they?” said Noah proudly.
“They're so cool.” I giggled.
Putting the flowers on the cake didn't take long and the overall effect was amazing. The flowers seemed to glitter in the light and we had to practically restrain Vespa from biting into it herself. After lunch we all went to the next town over to go present shopping. After many hours, Vespa, Freddie and Noah had all chosen a present whilst I walked aimlessly around the shops not knowing what to get. Although it seemed stupid this was my first actual birthday party and I wanted to get it right. Vespa had gotten Elle a dream catcher, Noah had gotten her pretty notebook and Freddie had brought a Lana Del Rey CD and poster, after she had told him she loved her songs.
“Come on Cassie, we still have to get ready. You can just share my present.” Said Vespa, exasperatedly, as she leaned against a rail of clothes.
“No, I want to get her a present of my own.”
“it's six o clock we've been here for four hours.” Moaned Vespa.
“Go back then, I’ll walk by myself.” I said moodily. Vespa stood in front of me. “Move.” I muttered.
Vespa smiled. “No.”
“Move.” I shouted, pushing her out of the way. Vespa stumbled backwards and fell into a rail of clothes knocking it down. I laughed as the shop assistant huffed and puffed, as the two of them picked up the clothes. Vespa muttered an irate apology. Behind the rail that she had knocked over was a hidden rail. I stepped over Vespa and grabbed it off the shelf.
“What's that?” Said Vespa, wrinkling her noise.
“A kimono.” Said the shop assistant putting the rail back into it's place.
It was beautiful. It was mostly made from black chiffon but the ends where detail with lacy material and all over the back, velvet flowers and appliques had been sewn on. “I'll take it.” I beamed.
“Finally.” Muttered Vespa.